Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bacon, Beans, and Potatoes

I have a confession. I like bacon. Real, crispy bacon from a pig. I feel guilty even saying it. This is a big deal for several reasons. 1.We never had bacon in our house growing up. My grandfather had a heart attack when I was young and from that point forward my parents followed a low fat, heart-healthy diet. Bacon was shunned and never entered our house. I would sometimes sneak some crisp bacon when we would go out for brunch after church on Sundays. 2. Bacon is really not very good for you. Two slices of medium cut bacon have over 7g of fat, 2.3g of saturated fat, and 92 calories. This is almost equal to eating 1 tablespoon of butter. No need to expand on that thought. 3. I am a dietitian. My job is to promote healthy eating and usually when I am working with patients, bacon is not usually something I include in their meal plan. 
 Besides bacon and the occasional sweet potato fry, I do eat healthy. I love fruits and vegetables. I get my diary servings in, I eat lean proteins, and I try to limit my intake of refined carbohydrates.  But somehow bacon has snuck in a little more often than it ever has before. It probably doesn't help that my husband has told me on several occasions "I think bacon is one of my favorite foods." I haven't been able to tell yet if he is eating the Brussels sprouts I have been making lately because he really likes them or because I add crumbled bacon to them after roasting them (which is delicious by the way).
 When I do buy bacon I try to buy a good quality bacon like center cut bacon which has less fat, or my new recent favorite nitrate-free bacon when I can find it. I do buy turkey bacon on occasion as well, but it really do not compare to pork bacon. Depending on what it is added to, turkey bacon can be an excellent substitute. The good thing about bacon is that you don't have to use a lot in a recipe to get the salty flavor that bacon adds. So, I confess, I am a dietitian, and I eat bacon. . . in moderation. One slice or two with eggs and toast every now and then, sprinkled on a spinach salad on occasion, or added to potatoes like the following recipe is reasonable I think. This recipe has become a favorite at our house. I made it for a dinner party one night and it was a big hit. It it is a simple way to enjoy fresh green beans and potatoes with only a little prep. Most of the work is done in the oven. If you are my parents also against bacon, it can be omitted. Enjoy!

Beans & Potatoes
2-3 small red potatoes per person, diced
½ pound green beans, cut or broken into 1 ½ inch pieces
2 slices bacon, cooked until crispy and then chopped into pieces
1 scallion, chopped
1 oz of cheddar cheese, shredded
Grill seasoning
Olive oil

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Spread potatoes onto baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and grill seasoning. Toss to coat. Bake for 15 minutes
3. Add green beans to potatoes toss to coat with olive oil and seasonings. Bake for an additional 20 minutes until vegetables are browned and becoming crispy. Turn once during cooking time.  
4.  Spoon mixture into a serving bowl. Add scallion, bacon, and cheese.

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